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Net trophic transfer efficiencies of polychlorinated biphenyl congeners to lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) from its prey



Lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) were fed bloater (Coregonus hoyi) in eight laboratory tanks over a 135-d experiment. At the start of the experiment, four to nine fish in each tank were sacrificed, and the concentrations of 75 polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners within these fish were determined. Polychlorinated biphenyl congener concentrations were also determined in the 10 lake trout remaining in each of the eight tanks at the end of the experiment as well as in the bloater fed to the lake trout. Each lake trout was weighed at the start and the end of the experiment, and the amount of food eaten by the lake trout was recorded. Using these measurements, net trophic transfer efficiency (γ) from the bloater to the lake trout in each of the eight tanks was calculated for each of the 75 congeners. Results showed that γ did not vary significantly with the degree of chlorination of the PCB congeners, and γ averaged 0.66 across all congeners. However, γ did show a slight, but significant, decrease as log KOW increased from 6.0 to 8.2. Activity level of the lake trout did not have a significant effect on γ. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2012; 31: 2821–2827. © 2012 SETAC